Stand Against Racism Challenge Week 2 Recap

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Stand Against Racism Challenge Week 2 Recap

Categories: News, Stand Against Racism Challenge

YWCA Week 2 Living Wage Web Banner


Last week, we invited you to join the conversation about The Importance of a Living Wage in our Stand Against Racism Challenge. Thank you to our Weekly Challenge Sponsor, BankUnited, for helping make this educational event possible.

The second week’s topics were aimed to spark conversations and inspire action by learning about ways to address racial and social injustices. Did you have a chance to read the following articles that ran in the Miami Herald in support of the challenge?

We asked that you come to the challenge with an open heart and mind so that together we can address issues revolving around Week 2’s topics:

  • What is Living Wage?
  • Minimum Wage
  • Racist History of Tipping
  • Closing the Racial & Gender Wealth Gap
  • Organizational Values

Here’s a little about what we’ve learned in Week 2’s Challenge:

The idea of a living wage is a minimum income necessary for individuals to meet their basic needs such as food, housing, clothing, etc. The weekly median salary for full-time workers is $49,450, which means half of the full-time workers make less, and when they have children, the numbers look even more grim.

We continued to learn about the history of the minimum wage, how and why it no longer reflects the needs of everyday Americans, and its disproportionate impact on people marginalized by racism and sexism. When the government put the federal minimum wage in place in 1938, employers were required to pay their workers $.25 per hour. Since then, the minimum wage has not kept pace with increased productivity or even inflation.

Today, the practice of tipping, with a less than minimum wage, is used in many different industries today. While the practice has been around for centuries, it gained popularity in the United States shortly after emancipation to avoid paying Black people a wage for their labor. Although employers are supposed to make up the difference if tips do not reach the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a One Fair Wage Report found that 35% of tipped employees experienced wage theft.

Perpetuating prejudices and gaps in pay contribute to an imbalanced system that keeps marginalized groups from finding racial and gender equity in the workplace. We may not be familiar with all issues, but this week we covered a lot. You’ve already taken first step in combatting racism by joining the #StandAgainstRacism challenge. Now keep spreading the word and complete the daily challenges to make your world a more equitable place for all.

Now that we’ve learned from and listened to the challenge, let’s discuss and take further action.

  • Which topics were of particular interest to you?
  • Which articles, videos, or podcasts inspired extended conversations with your family, friends, or colleagues?
  • Did you use the living wage calculator to estimate your cost of living in your community or region based on typical expenses?
  • Did you research whether or not your city or county has a higher minimum wage than your state?

Let’s talk more about living wage:
Join our dedicated Stand Against Racism Challenge Facebook Group.

Keep a lookout for your daily email challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience, etc. We’ll continue to explore how racial and social injustices have impacted our community and discuss ways to dismantle them.

Week 3 – Understanding Reproductive Justice

Together, with our presenting partner, the Miami Dolphins’ Football UNITES program, YWCA South Florida is building a community of associations, corporations, companies, organizations, nonprofits, charities, and individuals who will commit to advocating for racial justice. 

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